European Rugby Champions Cup: Clermont Auvergne 48-26 Exeter Chiefs
|European Champions Cup Pool Five|
|Clermont Auvergne (34) 48|
|Tries: Kayser, Nakaitaci, Penalty, Fofana, Abendanon, Lapandry, Yato. Cons: Parra 5 Pen: Parra|
|Exeter Chiefs (0) 26|
|Tries: Short, Devoto, Woodburn, Campagnaro. Cons: Steenson 2, Simmonds|
Exeter were knocked out of the European Champions Cup as Clermont Auvergne secured a home tie and top seeding for the last eight with an emphatic win.
The Chiefs came into the game needing a bonus point-win to have any chance of a place in the quarter-finals.
But they were left facing an uphill task when they conceded a try after only three minutes as Benjamin Kayser crashed over.
The French Top 14 leaders went on to dominate, scoring seven tries.
Their 26-point total in winning Pool Five means they are the leading team in the last eight, which they have now reached for the fifth time in the last six years.
Noa Nakaitaci added to Kayser's early effort and Morgan Parra converted both and scored a penalty to leave the home side in control after just 23 minutes.
Worse was to come for Exeter when first Olly Woodburn received a yellow card and conceded a penalty try while trying to stop a Clermont break and then Olly Devoto followed him to the sin-bin.
The home side took advantage of the extra numbers with Wesley Fofana and former European player of the year Nick Abendanon both crossing for tries.
However, France centre Fofana had to be replaced before half-time and was later diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles tendon that will rule him out of the Six Nations.
James Short put the Chiefs on the board at the start of the second half but Clermont responded quickly with tries from Peceli Yato and Alex Lapandry.
Exeter did however find some more momentum as the second half progressed, with Devoto, Woodburn and Michele Campagnaro giving a more respectable look to the score.
Exeter director of Rugby Rob Baxter: "I don't see why we can't win this competition one day. We are still a relatively young side and you have to go through these things when you are developing.
"This is a good kick in the pants for us, when Clermont beat us at home it turned out to be positive for us because it made us challenge ourselves."
Clermont Auvergne: Spedding, Nakaitaci, Lamerat, Fofana, Abendanon, Lopez, Parra, Chaume, Kayser, Jarvis, Iturria, Vahaamahina, Yato, Lapandry, Lee.
Replacements: Ulugia, Debaty, Zirakashvili, Jedrasiak, Chouly, Radosavljevic, Rougerie, Raka.
Exeter: Dollman, Woodburn, Campagnaro, Devoto, Short, Steenson, Maunder, Moon, Yeandle, Francis, Atkins, J. Hill, Armand, Horstmann, Waldrom.
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Low, Williams, Welch, Johnson, Townsend, Whitten, J. Simmonds.
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
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